CIO East Africa (Nairobi)

18 February 2014

Kenya: Safaricom Beats Google, Facebook in Innovation

Kenya's mobile network operator Safaricom has been rated number 9 in innovation globally by Fast Company magazine due to its role in bridging the healthcare gap with telecoms services.

The magazine noted that Safaricom's Daktari 1525 which helps connect the doctor and patient had improved the lives of millions of Kenyans by making them healthy.

"In Kenya, where more than half of citizens live on less than a dollar a day, medical care can be a far-off luxury. But local telecom giant Safaricom has built a vital bridge between doctor and patient. This year, it's boosting marketing to get more customers calling, and more Kenyans healthy," states the magazine.

Safaricom was second in the healthcare category after Sproxil which helps eleiminate counterfeit drugs from the market while overall was beaten by the likes of Nike, Amazon, Square, Splunk and Fab who tool the top 5 honors.

Surprisingly, the telco which is widely known for its revolutionary mobile money payments was beaten in its product tuff by Square 3rd ranked world's most innovative company for its role in spreading the mobile payments revolution.

Square is famed for its innovative product that allows credit card payments on mobile devices beating the likes of global giants PayPal Here, Intuit and Groupon.

Other winners in various categories include: Spunk which took the big data category after deploying its data crunchers to improve operations for its 5,000 clients, from Zynga to Rutgers University to Comcast to the FBI while Chinese company Tencent took the social media category rewarded for building various communication apps.

Apple beat Samsung to second in worlds most innovative companies in the electronic category thanks to the iPhone 5 that sold 5 million units in 3 days while the Korean maker was rewarded for its role in 'Wising up' smart TVs and the phablet trend. Related stories

Ndemo, Getao set to push for telemedicine adoption at Afrihealth conference

Safaricom unveils mobile health service

Mobile phone technology set to revolutionise healthcare in Africa

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